Balancing act

Yearbooks make me anxious.

It’s not very logical, but just the thought of everyone scrambling for signatures and filling pages with messages that can be compared to short stories causes an anxiety attack. When I told a friend my scheme to ditch the signing session, and stash my yearbook in my car, she looked at me disapprovingly and told me that this would be yet another senior moment I would be missing out on. 

Senioritis never fully kicked in with me — I had more of an acute infection rather than a fatal disease. It had been in my nature to work endlessly for so long, that it was impossible to fully cut the habit of studying and replace it with a “go-with-the-flow” attitude.

It is too late to admit it, but my friend was right. The truth is, I do regret not taking advantage of my senior year to spend more time bonding with my friends and fellow classmates. I look back on high school and I see the cramming, the breakdowns, the all-nighters, the absences, and that’s it. It’s not like I never went to parties or hung out on the weekends—in fact I have great memories with friends—but they are all stifled and overshadowed by the less than great moments.

During the Dark Age, known as first quarter of senior year, I told myself that the work would all be over soon and that it was worth missing a few social gatherings if I got into the college of my choice. My hibernation caused me to lose sight of what was really important in life. I had forgotten how amazing my friends were, how much fun I had with them, and how badly I needed them in order to be truly happy.

My anti-social behavior from first semester not only kept me away from my friends of six years, but also restricted me from bonding with other seniors.

 On the bus ride home from a field trip last week, I sat next to a girl that I had only recently become friends with this year. Usually I would just listen to my iPod or pretend to sleep if I was sitting next to someone I didn’t know well in order to avoid an awkward conversation, but surprisingly, I found myself chatting away about Paris, visits to the Huntington library, our love for high tea, and summer plans to go to the Getty Villa. We had so many things in common, but sadly, it was only two weeks before graduation that I realized this, and now we are parting ways to opposite coasts. If I had took the time to discover our similarities earlier, could I have had a friendship that was more meaningful and lasting than an A grade in school?

I don’t want to say that I regret working so hard in high school, because that motivation and determination is a huge part of who I am as a person today, but I wish I had found a better way to balance my social and academic life. I may not be able to redeem myself and make up for the lost times with my friends, but with a week left of high school, I challenge myself to take a step in the right direction.

Maybe I will take out my yearbook after all.